The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

What is a Comprehensive Master Plan?

Cudahy, Leadership, Master Plan

Not being a government employee and not having anyone explain what the master plan is, again shows that there is a lack of communication from the government to its citizens.  I will try to do (again the job of government) and explain what it is and what it was.  Mr. Mayor, if you would have explained what the “Master Plan” was and is many people, including myself, would have not been so hard on you about it.  Again without sounding like a broken record or skipping CD, failure to communicate.  


First, we must know what a Comprehensive Master Plan is. 


The Comprehensive Master Plan consists of a study of existing area conditions with a discussion of future trends, goals, and objectives.  The Plan is an important document for the city because it articulates a broad vision for Cudahy’s future and directs all development activities.  It also guides the city's capital improvement projects.  It sets out strategies for coordinating and leveraging city investment, policy and programming to maximize economic opportunity and the quality of life for all citizens of Cudahy.


By state law, all cities have to have one in place by 2010 and from that day forward the city has to maintain a master, or comprehensive, plan and review it.  The Master Plan serves as a guide to direct development toward established community goals it is considered a “Living Document” and must be reviewed to make sure that situations and technological changes also reflect changes to the plan.


The Master Plan is futuristic in orientation, as it reflects what we want Cudahy to ultimately become.  It is not a blueprint of the city's future nor is it rigid.  Rather it is a flexible tool used to direct, coordinate and evaluate the city's development and progress and to ensure continued orderly improvement of our community.


The Master Plan is not an attempt to keep any change from taking place in the community.  It simply shows a compatible pattern for land uses in the city.  Alternative land uses may be viable and should be considered on their individual merit.  A basic principle of the Master Plan is flexibility, which allows it to continually identify and monitor changing conditions and circumstances in order to effectively guide future change toward established community goals.


Annual review of the plan, as mandated by state statute, prevents it from becoming obsolete and making sure it accurately reflects city policies and the changing needs of residents.


Cudahy’s first plan was a comprehensive plan done in 1994 which helped to setup the process of achieving a Comprehensive Master Plan and Master Plan for Downtown reconstruction. This process took much time to have all the voting and committees look at. Contaminated land had to be removed and cleaned up. 


The Comprehensive Master Plan was finished in 1999.  The main objective of that plan was to help construction of downtown and the new Mitchell Field International (airport) business park.  I am told the main objectives in the plan were met.  My understanding was the two former Mayors did fail in keeping up with reviewing the plan, but that is in the past.  As Mayor McCue correctly pointed out, “We are moving forward.”


Vandewalle & Associates are helping Cudahy craft this new plan.  They have done this for about fifty other cities.  Our old plan is way out of date.  I have to say I am very impressed with them.  I don’t impress easily so that should tell you something.  They seem very interested in listening to the citizens and communicating to them as well.  Maybe some of this will rub off on the Mayor and other city officials.  Vandewalle & Associates would like to have a workshop sometime in late March or early April for the citizens to attend.  If the Mayor found them then Kudos to him or whoever found them.  The new master plan is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year.


From the meeting, I got a sense that Cudahy residents can and will help shape the future of our great city.  It is going to take bold leadership and will respect the desire of the direction the people want.  My only concern is that the government will hear us and follow the direction the people want.  So far, this Cudahy Station and Wal-Mart is not giving me the “warm fuzzies” or inspires confidence that our leaders hear us.  If our current plan is out of date, then how can the Mayor say, "I do not feel that Wal-Mart follows the spirit of the Cudahy master plan?"  Since the obsolete plan was not looked at and neglected, Wal-Mart may very well be what the Master Plan wanted or needed.  The plan is flexible if the Mayor wants it to be, but he isn’t a fan of Wal-Mart, so it is ridged and frigid.  Can you say politics?  I can.


I am told the problem with Wal-Mart is it is not a point of destination.  Destination means the place to which a person or thing travels or is sent, the purpose for which something is destined, the place to which one is going or directed, the ultimate purpose for which something is created or intended.  Point means to direct or give direction, a place.  Destination Point defined – a place to which something or someone is going.  Sounds like it fits to me.  Again, unless they are talking about tourism, then doesn’t the Wave center fit the bill?  Remember, “Ridged and frigid”. 


We must plan to get ahead of the game, respond to change, help shape change, and most importantly be proactive, not just reactive.  How tired you all must be to hearing me say that. 


The Mayor has be given the challenge, charge and burden of selecting people for this group or board (steering committee) to help craft the document (Master Plan), I just hope the people he picks understand the gravity of the situation and set aside politics and personal beliefs to make the decisions for the whole.  They must work from a position of strength and success, not from the position of fear and failure.  The decisions must be based on a calm assessment not a knee jerk reaction.  Our future is counting on them.


If you have any questions or comments you can post or email, I will always answer you and you don’t even have to drive to my work or house to catch me in the office.  You have the power at your fingertips, called a mouse, keyboard and the Internet.

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